Food For Thought

In 5 years as restaurant critic for the New York Times, Frank Bruni influenced millions of diners — and countless discussions of “where should we eat?”

For much of his life, his own answer was:  anywhere, any time.

Bruni was a voracious eater.  The results showed on his body — and, less visibly, his self-esteem.

Frank Bruni

Now average weight — and off the food beat — he’s written a book:  Born Round:  the Secret Life of a Full-Time Eater. He says it contains “elements of an addiction memoir and a food memoir, with lots of family issues and digressions.”

This Monday (August 2, 7:30 p.m.) Bruni will be at the Westport Public Library.  He’ll talk about restaurant writing, eating, self-loathing — and the intersection of all 3.

He’ll also answer questions from the audience.  If anyone asks him to compare his own youthful weight issues with today’s focus on childhood obesity, he’ll mention the importance of offering healthy options and environments.

And, he’ll note, that’s not always easy to do.

“Parents have to realize that kids model behavior from watching their parents — with food, and everything else.  If parents are sedentary or pig out in front of the TV, kids accept that as the norm.”

I wanted to dig in to another subject:  Westport’s culinary life.

“Sadly, I don’t know much about Fairfield County restaurants,” Bruni said.  “My knowledge ends with Westchester.”

So where will he dine before Monday’s library appearance?

“Unfortunately, I’ve got a lot of things to do here at the Times,” he said.  “My summer is crazy.

“I’ll probably just have a sandwich on the train.”

2 responses to “Food For Thought

  1. I feel bad that I’m going to miss this. I love Mr. Bruni’s writing on food and I look forward to digging into his memoir. However, intentional or otherwise, his answer to your questions about food in Westport came across as elitist and dismissive. His current online fight with Keith McNally is hard to interpret. Mr. McNally is reported in the industry to be a jerk and has attacked Mr. Bruni for poor reviews in the past but Mr. Bruni doesn’t come across much better here.

    I also don’t get to visit Westport for long enough periods of time to go out to eat every time I come but I look forward to it every time!

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